What’s Holding You Back? Breaking Down Barriers for Engaging with an MSP

Engaging with a managed service provider (MSP) can serve multiple purposes, from improving overall IT operations to delegating non-core business tasks to supplementing in-house talent. Lowered costs and increased efficiency are more benefits of partnering with a managed service provider. However, many CFIOs and other business leaders are wary about outsourcing to an IT service provider, for the reasons outlined below. Read on to discover how to protect yourself against these common concerns when working with an MSP.

1. Security Risk

According to an EMA (Every Man’s Accepted) survey of mid-level managers and IT contributors at mid-size to large enterprises, 68 percent of respondents cited security concerns as a top inhibitor against working with a managed service provider.

Head off this concern by asking each potential IT service provider about its privacy policy, especially whether they share clients’ information with their outsourcing partners. It’s also wise to work only with MSPs that have a strong history of positive business partnerships.

2. Loss of Control

The EMA study revealed that half of IT decision makers see loss of control as a major obstacle in hiring an IT service provider.

A strong relationship with your MSP service rep can allay this concern. Aim to work with an IT service provider that can verify you’ll work with the same representative every time a service is rendered. Exceptional MSPs can also create remote-access monitoring platforms to allow you to oversee your IT system’s performance. To ensure good communication around IT changes, create a contractual stipulation that your managed service provider must keep a change log. Finally, write control into your contract: Include a service level agreement to guarantee exceptional service, and be sure your outsourcing contract also contains a detailed IT services plan.

3. Uncertainty of Costs

The prospect of uncertain IT-related expenses is also a barrier against outsourcing to a managed service provider, according to 44 percent of participants in the EMA study.

Again, setting clear expectations from the onset of your relationship with an IT service provider will remove fears around cost. You may choose to purchase IT services a la carte, but remember that these costs can quickly skyrocket if unexpected obstacles crop up. It may be better for your bottom line to engage with your MSP on a retainer basis. With a retainer, you pay a set amount every month, regardless of how many billable hours the IT service provider accrues. This approach enables business leaders to accurately predict their IT costs.

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